Pernicious Anaemia Society

B12 from france

B12 from france

Happy Christmas and new year to all.

Can someone help?

I self injected for the first time in December, it's definitely the way forward, don't know why I waited so long to do it. I recently bought some b12 injectibles in France and am not sure what I've got. It was all they could order and her English wasn't very good (although it was 100 x better than my French). I had my prescription with me for reference.

My prescription says "hydroxocobalamin 1mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules". I bought "vitamine b12 delagrange 1000 ug/2ml cyanocobalamine".

Firstly is it the same / equivalent/ right injectible compared with my prescription?

Secondly it's a 2ml phial. Does that mean I've bought a weaker solution and would need to inject the whole lot for the required dose?

Help is appreciated. I wanted to take advantage of being abroad so as to talk to someone face to face about quality control of the product (I have real reservations about ordering off of the www, who knows what's being sent to me and by whom!!!) and also to ensure I got the right product. I may have failed on both counts! Was only 11 euros for 2 years worth, so no great loss.

8 Replies

Hi Mr_E. What you have here is 1mg of Cyanocobalamin suspended in 2mls of liquid...if you inject the whole 2mls you will get 1mg of vitamin B12 (the usual 'normal' dose per B12 injection unless on a higher dose regime (for,instance some people use 1.5mg and some people use 5mg).

Cyanocobalamin is indeed B12 - just a different form of B12. This is not commonly prescribed in the UK although some choose to use it if they have problems with Hydroxocobalamin (for instance clivealive has been using cyanocobalamin for 45 years, having tried Hydroxocobalamin and found that it did not suit him).

Cyanocobalamin is prescribed for B12 deficiency is some European countries and also is some parts of the USA, I believe - and other places too.

So, it's safe to use as a treatment for your deficiency. However, you may (or may not) find that you have to inject it slightly more often than you would do if using hydroxycobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is licensed and recommended for monthly use / Hydroxocobalamin for two or three monthly use (depending on whether you have neurological symptoms or not). It has been suggested that Hydroxocobalamin has a longer active life when injected but there are no hard and fast rules since each individual reacts to the different forms of B12 in different ways (to simplify a very complex argument 😄).

So...if you find your symptoms returning more quickly than usual, just inject more often with the cyanocobalamin. And just be aware that as different individuals react differently to different forms of B12, the pattern of symptoms relief you normally experience may change. If this happens you can always change back to Hydroxocobalamin (if you ultimately find that that is what works better for you).

Many here buy Hydroxocobalamin online for tried and tested (safe and quality assured) German suppliers.

Here's a link where you can buy Hydroxocobalamin if you wish to do so in the future:

Another safe source is, also used by our forum members.

Both sites offer English translation features and you can pay by PayPal, so it's all very easy, with swift delivery.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck with the cyanocobalamin 😄


Thanks for your response, forum always massively helpful

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Hydroxocobalamin ampoules are also available from independent pharmacies selling through, which also has a translation function if you don't read German. I buy the Pascoe brand on from Petersberg Apotheke, who offer a speedy delivery service and good packaging.


just to add to Foggyme's comments -

advantage of hydroxo over cyano is that that cyanocobalamin is contraindicated if you have a rare genetic condition called Leber's syndrome - which means a particular sensitivity to the cyano element in cyanocobalamin.

On average people retain hydroxo twice as long as cyanocobalamin but this varies a lot and significant numbers of people do retain cyano longer than hydroxo.

When hydroxo was introduced in the UK it was used monthly - and it still is recommended for monthly use in Germany

Thing to do is to go by your symptoms.


I might give it a go next time round and see what difference it makes for me, cheers

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In Europe, legitimate online pharmacies are supposed to be registered with the respective national health authorities. They will display this on their website - for versandapo, the registration logo is on the bottom of the page, right-most image. It's the logo with the 3 green stripes and the german flag. If you click on it, it takes you to their entry in the German national registry database so that you can verify they are legitimate:

More info on the registry:


Thanks for the info, gives me reassurance about quality


Cyano-B12 is typically given 1 ml of 1000 mcg/ml strength in one month intervals for a maintenance dose.

Hydroxo-B12 of the same strength in typically given in 3-month intervals for maintenance dose. It binds better to muscle tissue and is retained longer in the body.

Many people can't handle this and need more frequent injections. I'm on weekly cyano injections that I take 0.5 ml twice a week.

It looks like you have ampoules that break open so you need to take the entire 2ml in one injection. There is a dot on the top where you press to break off the top. Hold the body of the ampoule in a tissue to protect your hand in case it shatters.

Cyano is the most stable form of B12 but can still be sensitive to light so store it in a dark place. There is no need for refrigeration.


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